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LETTER: Higher density needed to face challenges

Re: the letter Sidney shouldn’t be afraid to face the future (PNR June 2).

It is heartening to know that there are residents of Sidney, Raymond Lindsay for one, that understand the complexities of urban planning and that the changes to the draft OCP that the current town council is gutting are exactly the opposite of what they should be doing. Courage is needed to face up to backward-looking community associations, and council should indeed ’screw their courage to the sticking post’ and put their thinking hats back on.

“It takes a lot of privilege to believe the biggest planning issue today is a change to your preferred ‘community character’ protected by a very costly status quo, despite the realities of the climate crisis, housing/affordability crisis, equity, classism, etc.” (Brent Toderian, former chief planner for the City of Vancouver.)

Higher density is much needed if only to face the challenges of climate change. Sidney’s council now wants to limit density and neighbourhood amenities, putting people back in cars, and diminish what little opportunity there is for affordable housing.

There is an inherent tension between urban planners and the public because current residents want the final say to protect their current status but planners are also supposed to think about future residents.

We can hope that council will find the courage to act in the best interests of the current and future residents of the Town of Sidney and restore the proposed forward-looking elements of their draft OCP.

Marjorie Law

Sidney

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